- The Darknet market has set a new all-time high in its revenue generation
- In 2020, the Darknet market contributed a record $1.7 billion in crypto revenues, despite a decline in individual purchases from marketplaces
- According to, Chainalysis, a single driver is behind the new record witnessed in 2021
According to new data from Chainalysis, the revenues from the Darknet markets hit a new all-time high in 2020. The darknet markets raked in a whopping $1.7 billion in crypto revenues in 2020.
Darknet Markets Set a New Record
The data found in Chainalysis 2021 Crypto Crime Report, the illegal marketplace brought in a record $1.7 billion in revenues in 2020. The report noted that, in 2020, there was a decline in individual purchases from marketplaces.
The blockchain analytics noted that a singular entity, Hydra Market, boosted the revenue of the darknet markets in 2020. According to Chainalysis, the markets would have recorded almost flat revenue but for Hydra Market.
What is Hydra Market?
Hydra Market is one of the largest and most popular illegal marketplaces. Unlike many other illegal market places, the darknet marketplace serves only customers from Russian-speaking countries.
This makes it one of the biggest drivers of Eastern Europe’s unique crypto crime landscape. According to the research, Hydra Market is one of the largest darknet markets globally, accounting for over 75% of the 2020 revenue.
According to Chainalysis, Hydra Market is the reason why Russian-speaking countries have one of the highest rates of crypto transactions.
On the Flipside
- Crypto exchange, OKEx, has announced that it will integrate the Lightning Network, a layer 2 bitcoin payments technology, in Q2 of 2021
- After integrating the network, the Bitcoin transaction fees and transaction speeds will be drastically reduced on the exchange
- OKEx will give users the option of selecting the Lightning Network before depositing or withdrawing Bitcoin, to allow them to send/receive crypto almost instantly
Overview of the Research
According to Chainalysis, Europe (Western, Northern, and Southern) and North America are the biggest consumers of the Darknet. It noted that most of the cryptos laundered were done using over-the-counter exchanges by the criminals in China or Eastern Europe.
We also suspect that a good deal of China and Russia’s volume received by darknet markets represents funds flowing to money-laundering services concentrated in those countries, though it’s possible similar services are operating in other countries receiving large volumes of funds from darknet markets.
Early in January, German authorities announced that it had the largest DarkNet Marketplace using Bitcoin and Monero. They announced that the DarkMarket had over half a million users and 2,400 vendors from around the world.
They noted that the marketplace dealt in drugs, counterfeit money, stolen credit card data, anonymous SIM cards, and malware. The German Police arrested an Australian man for his involvement in running DarkMarket servers.